Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer was candid in his assessment of linebacker Rey Maualuga’s 2010 season.
“He sure has to play a hell of a lot better than he did this year because he was extremely average,” Zimmer told Bengals.com recently. “He’s undisciplined.”
Maualuga, for his part, sees where Zimmer was coming from.
“I think this organization expected a lot out of me when I first stepped foot in this place,” Maualuga told Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “Then again I expected a lot out of myself as well. . . . I’m not satisfied with how I performed.”
Maualuga was just one part of a sluggish Bengals defense that dropped off dramatically from a strong 2009 season despite most personnel returning. Zimmer said he got away from his core principles and tried to do too much as a coordinator. Maualuga, who may transition to middle linebacker next season, knows it’s time to live up to expectations.
“Now is my time to step it up and prove people wrong. I can’t be some random dude walking around the locker rooms anymore,” Maualuga said.